Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–2853.17. Revocation, suspension, or denial of license or privilege; civil penalty; reprimand.

(a) Each board, subject to the right of a hearing as provided by this subchapter, on an affirmative vote of a majority of its members present and voting, may take one or more of the actions provided in subsection (c) of this section against any applicant or person permitted by this subchapter to practice an occupation or profession regulated by the board who:

(1) Knowingly provides false or misleading information on or in support of an application or renewal application;

(2) Fraudulently or deceptively obtains, or attempts to obtain, a license or certificate, or to register, for another person;

(3) Fraudulently or deceptively uses a license, certificate, or registration;

(4) Is disciplined by a licensing or disciplinary authority in another jurisdiction, or is convicted or disciplined by a court of any jurisdiction, for conduct that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this section;

(5) Has been convicted of an offense that is directly related to the occupation for which the license, registration, or certification is sought or held, pursuant to a determination made under subsection (c-1)(2) of this section;".

(6) Has been determined to be professionally or mentally incompetent or physically incapable of carrying out the services for which that person has been licensed, certified or registered;

(7) Is addicted to, or habitually abuses, any narcotic or controlled substance as defined in Chapter 9 of Title 48 (“Uniform Controlled Substances Act”).

(8) Provides, or attempts to provide, professional services while under the influence of alcohol or while using any narcotic or controlled substance as defined in the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, or other drug in excess of therapeutic amounts or without valid medical indication;

(9) Willfully makes or files a false report or record in the practice of his or her occupation or profession, willfully fails to file or record any report required by law, impedes or obstructs the filing or recording of the report, or induces another to fail to file or record the report;

(10) Willfully fails or refuses to comply with any lawful inquiry made by a board with authority over the person’s occupation or profession, or to cooperate fully with such board in the conduct of its official duties;

(11) After proper request in accordance with law, fails to provide records kept by that person in the course of the practice of his occupation or profession to which any other person is lawfully entitled;

(12) Willfully makes a misrepresentation as to what services the person is authorized to perform under the terms of his or her license, certificate or registration;

(13) Willfully practices an occupation or profession with an unauthorized person or aids an unauthorized person in the practice of an occupation or profession;

(14) Submits false statements to collect fees for which services have not been provided or submits statements to collect fees for services which were not authorized and were not necessary;

(15) Fails to pay a civil fine imposed by the Mayor, a board, other administrative officer, or court;

(16) Willfully breaches a statutory, regulatory, or ethical requirement of the profession or occupation, unless ordered by a court;

(17) Refuses to provide service for which he or she is licensed, certified or registered, to any person for reasons prohibited by Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, or any other District or federal anti-discrimination law or regulation;

(18) Performs, offers, or attempts to perform services beyond the scope of those authorized by the registration, license or certificate, if such services require registration, licensing, or certification under District law;

(19) Violates any District or federal law, regulation, or rule related to the practice of the occupation or profession;

(20) Violates a valid order of a board or violates a consent decree or negotiated settlement entered into with a board;

(21) Demonstrates a willful or careless disregard for the standards of acceptable conduct and prevailing practice within the occupation or profession;

(22) Demonstrates a willful or careless disregard for the health, welfare, or safety of any client or member of the public in the practice of the occupation or profession, regardless of whether such person sustains actual injury as a result; or

(23) Fails to pay the applicable fees required by this subchapter.

(b)(1) A board may require a licensed or certified person to submit to a mental or physical examination whenever it has probable cause to believe that person is impaired due to the reasons specified in subsection (a)(6), (7), or (8) of this section. The examination shall be conducted by one or more health professionals designated by the board, and he, she, or they shall report their findings concerning the nature and extent of the impairment, if any, to the board and to the person who was examined.

(2) Notwithstanding the findings of the examination ordered by the board, the licensed or certified person may submit, in any proceedings before a board or other adjudicatory body, the findings of an examination conducted by one or more health professionals of his or her choice to rebut the findings of the examination ordered by the board.

(3) Willful failure or refusal to submit to an examination requested by a board shall be considered as affirmative evidence that the licensed or certified person is in violation of subsection (a)(6), (7), or (8) of this section, and the person shall not be entitled to submit the findings of another examination in disciplinary or adjudicatory proceedings related to the violation.

(c) Upon determination by a board that an applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by this subchapter to practice in the District has committed any of the acts described in subsection (a) of this section, the board may direct the Mayor to:

(1) Deny a license or certificate to an applicant;

(2) Revoke or suspend the license, registration, or certification of any licensee, registrant, or person certified;

(3) Revoke or suspend the privilege to practice in the District of any person permitted by this subchapter to practice in the District;

(4) Reprimand any licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by this subchapter to practice in the District;

(5) Impose a civil fine not to exceed $5,000 for each violation by any applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by this subchapter to practice in the District;

(6) Require a course of remediation, approved by the board, which may include:

(A) Therapy or treatment;

(B) Retraining; and

(C) Reexamination, in the discretion of and in the manner prescribed by the board, after the completion of the course of remediation;

(7) Require a period of probation; or

(8) Issue a cease and desist order pursuant § 47-2853.19 [repealed, see now § 47-2844.01].

(c-1)(1) A board shall not:

(A) Inquire into or consider:

(i) An applicant's criminal conviction until after the applicant is found by the board to be otherwise qualified; or

(ii) For an applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District:

(I) A conviction that has been sealed, expunged, vacated, or pardoned, including a conviction that has been set aside pursuant to [subchapter I of Chapter 9 of Title 24];

(II) A juvenile adjudication; or

(III) Non-conviction information, including information related to a deferred sentencing agreement, participation in a diversion program, or an arrest that did not result in a conviction; or

(B) Consider a conviction of an offense of an applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District that is not directly related to the occupation for which the license, registration, or certification is sought or held.

(2) Pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, a board shall determine whether a conviction of an offense of an applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District is directly related to the occupation for which a license, registration, or certification is sought or held by considering the totality of the following factors:

(A) Whether the elements of the offense are directly related, by clear and convincing evidence, to the specific duties and responsibilities of the occupation;

(B) Any evidence produced by the applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District concerning their rehabilitation and fitness, including:

(i) Evidence as to whether the applicant, licensee, registrant, person certified, or person permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District has recidivated;

(ii) Evidence demonstrating compliance with any terms and conditions of probation, supervised release, or parole;

(iii) The length of time that has elapsed since the offense was committed;

(iv) The age at which the offense was committed;

(v) Any circumstances related to the offense, including mitigating circumstances;

(vi) Evidence of work history, particularly any training or work experience related to the occupation; and

(vii) Letters of reference; and

(C) The District's interest in promoting employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records.

(c-2) By January 1 of each year, the Mayor shall submit a report to the Council that includes the following information from the prior fiscal year for each board:

(1) The number of petitions filed pursuant to § 47-2853.12(n) and the board's decisions on those petitions;

(2) The number of applications filed and, of those, the number that were not pursued by the applicant, granted, or denied, and applicants' demographic information;

(3) The number of applicants, licensees, registrants, persons certified, or persons permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District who received a notice of intent to deny, suspend, or revoke based on the person's criminal conviction, which criminal offenses were used as a basis for the decision, and the number of applicants, licensees, registrants, persons certified, or persons permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District who provided additional information in response to the notice, pursuant to § 47-2853.22(a-1)(1)(D);

(4) The number of applicants, licensees, registrants, persons certified, or persons permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District with a criminal conviction who proceeded to a hearing, and whether those individuals were represented by counsel;

(5) The number of applicants, licensees, registrants, persons certified, or persons permitted by [this subchapter] to practice in the District with a criminal conviction who appealed the board's final decision, as well as the outcome of each appeal; and

(6) A description of how each board has facilitated access to licenses, registrations, and certifications for persons with a criminal record in light of the District's interest in promoting employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records.

(d) Nothing in this subchapter shall preclude prosecution for a criminal violation of this subchapter regardless of whether the same violation has been or is the subject of one or more of the disciplinary actions provided by this subchapter. Criminal prosecution may proceed prior to, simultaneously with, or subsequent to administrative enforcement action.

(e) A person licensed to practice an occupation or profession in the District is subject to the disciplinary authority of the relevant board on the basis of disciplinary action taken by another jurisdiction if the basis of the disciplinary action would have caused a similar result in the District.


(Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 1002, 46 DCR 3142; May 24, 2005, D.C. Law 15-357, § 202(b), 52 DCR 1999; Oct. 23, 2012, D.C. Law 19-193, § 3(f), 59 DCR 10388; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-205, § 4(b), 68 DCR 000769.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2853.17.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2853.08 and § 47-2853.48.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-357 rewrote subsec. (a)(5) and added subsecs. (c-1) and (c-2). Prior to amendment, subsec. (a)(1) read as follows: “(5) Has been convicted in any jurisdiction of any crime involving any offense that bears directly on the fitness of the person to be licensed;”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-193 added (a)(5)(B-i).